Todd Pletcher

'Rising Star' Stellar Tap Returns in Iroquois

L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Stellar Tap (Tapit) wowed spectators with a TDN Rising Star-worthy performance at Saratoga Aug. 7 and will try to prove that it wasn't a fluke in Saturday's GIII Iroquois S. at Churchill Downs. Out of a half-sister to GISW Nereid (Rock Hard Ten), the $250,000 KEESEP graduate showed early speed for trainer Steve Asmussen navigating seven furlongs in his debut and turned on all boosters late, drawing away to score by 5 1/4 lengths over Keepcalmcarryon (Union Rags), who won at that venue...

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GISW Basin Retired to Spendthrift

GISW Basin (Liam's Map-Appenzell, by Johannesburg) has been retired from racing and will stand at Spendthrift Farm in 2022. Standing for a fee of $7,500 S&N, the 4-year-old will participate in the farm's "Share The Upside" program. "We are excited to add Basin to the Spendthrift stallion ranks and to be able to offer breeders a horse of his caliber through our Share The Upside program," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift General Manager. "We pride ourselves on being able to offer quality at all levels, and we believe there's a lot...

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Sept. 17 Insights: Half to Princess Noor Debuts in Intriguing Belmont Sprint

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 6th-BEL, $90k, Msw, 2yo, 6 1/2f, 3:38 p.m. ET Seven horses make their career debut in this potential-laden nine-horse field, headed by PROTONIC POWER (Protonico), part of an uncoupled entry for the Todd Pletcher barn. Owned by Sumaya US Stable, who campaigned his sire, the colt is out of Grade III winner Sheza Smoke Show (Wilko), making him a half to 2020 OBS April topper and subsequent Grade I winner Princess Noor (Not This Time). The bay stayed home at Belmont for the summer and...

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Brown, Saez, Klaravich Win Saratoga Meet Titles; Record Handle Tops $800M

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--After accepting his fourth H. Allen Jerkens training title late Monday afternoon, Chad Brown spoke to a common theme on the final day of a joyous season following the COVID-19 summer without fans at Saratoga Race Course "Happy to have everybody back at the meet. That was the big thing," Brown said. "The most rewarding part of the meet was having everybody back. Last year, win or lose, it just wasn't any fun. I can speak for me and a lot of people around me that it just...

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Maclean's Music Juvenile Filly Airs at the Spa

8th-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 9-5, 2yo, f, 7f, 1:23.53, gd, 10 lengths. JESTER CALLS NOJOY (f, 2, Maclean's Music--Morning Star, by Sky Mesa), second at 9-5 in her six-furlong unveiling Aug. 15, went quickly to the front, carving out initial splits of :22.99 and :46.58. In the clear leaving the quarter pole, the 3-5 choice bounded away through the lane, crossing the wire 10 lengths ahead of Malibu Kendall (Curlin) at the wire. It was a length farther back to Handbelle (Tapit). The winner's dam, Morning Star, is also responsible for...

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New Rising Star for Classic Empire at the Spa

Lawana and Robert Low's $550,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic purchase Classy Edition (Classic Empire) proved worth the money Sunday as she overcame a rough start to dominate a group of New York-bred fillies and garner the 'TDN Rising Star' distinction. Purchased by agent Jacob West off a swift :10 1/5 breeze at Timonium in May, the bay was 3-5 while bidding to become newly minted Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher's eighth juvenile debut winner of the Saratoga stand and third 'Rising Star'. Pletcher sent out smashing turf winner Annapolis (War Front) on...

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On to Breeders' Cup for Max Player

George Hall and Sport BLX Thoroughbreds' Max Player (Honor Code) will train up to the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar following his win in Saturday's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed Sunday. "Max Player is better than he's ever been and physically he's developed into this," Asmussen said. "There's more of him. He's a horse that's continued to grow, fill out and mature. There's a lot more of Max Player as a 4-year-old than there was as a 3-year-old. He's bigger and stronger....

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'High' Hopes in Hopeful Showdown

No less than five undefeated 2-year-olds--including two graded winners--line up for Saratoga's Labor Day finale in the GI Hopeful S. Hard to separate, at least on paper, are Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway's Wit (Practical Joke) and LRE Racing and JEH Racing's High Oak (Gormley). The former earned TDN Rising Star billing when kicking off his career with a six-length score at Belmont June 5. Equally impressive in his return in the July 17 GIII Sanford S., the Todd Pletcher trainee cruised home an easy eight-length winner in...

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L'Imperator, En Wye Cee Rematch in Baruch

It's not unusual to see the Saratoga meeting's top two trainer knock heads in graded competition and such is again the case in Monday's GII Bernard Baruch H. Representing 'Team Pletcher' is En Wye Cee (Declaration of War), a winner going nine furlongs in a rained-off optional claimer at this meet in 2020, but winless in two starts since. After rounding out last season with a third behind the Chad Brown-trained pair of Devamani (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Olympico (Fr) (Rajsaman {Fr}), the full-brother to GSW Silentio lacked racing room...

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The Process: Jacob West

As the agent for the powerful partnership of Mike Repole's Repole Stable and Vinnie Viola's St. Elias (involved in $10,435,000 worth of Keeneland September '20 expenditures, mostly together on Classic-leaning colts); the buyer for upper-market players Robert and Lawana Low ($1,535,000 on four head last September); and in his role as Vice President, Bloodstock for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (part of $4,267,000 in buys at KEESEP '20 including the $2-million topper), there aren't many, if any, agents with more money behind them these days than Jacob West. Considering Eclipse partnered on...

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War Front Colt Ultra-Impressive in 'TDN Rising Star' Debut at the Spa

Annapolis (c, 2, War Front--My Miss Sophia, by Unbridled's Song) was backed with supreme confidence as the 6-5 favorite in a seemingly wide-open, two-turn grass maiden special weight at the Spa Saturday, and he ran to the money with an ultra-impressive 'TDN Rising Star' debut performance. The Ramona Bass homebred's worktab featured a trio of visually impressive drills over the Oklahoma training turf for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, including a four-furlong spin in :50 2/5 (24/74) around the dogs Aug. 8. He raced toward the back in eighth in...

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Forza Di Oro Gets Acid Test in Jockey Club Gold Cup

Don Alberto Stable's Forza Di Oro (Speightstown) has shown considerable talent in six starts dating back to his debut in September of 2019, and he'll finally get his chance at the highest level as a likely favorite in Saturday's 10-furlong GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, being run at Saratoga for the first time in the race's storied history. Running a huge race after a disastrous start to be second at 31-1 in his unveiling, the homebred graduated next out, but took a major step backward when finishing eighth, beaten 24...

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